I built a hot-cold smoker a while ago when I wanted to get into cold-smoked salmon and bacon. Here's how it came together.
- A charcoal-fired hot smoker to be the smoke box and hot side
- A tabletop kettle grill to be the smoke generator
- An electric burner to make smoke
- A cast iron box to hold wood chips
- 8 feet of 4" dryer hose to carry smoke
- 2 start collars to attach the hose at both ends
- Hose clamps to clamp the hose
Putting It Together
You'll need a Dremel or some other way to cut the metal of your perfectly good smoker and your perfectly good tabletop grill. They're both about to get temporarily ruined.
Find a nice spot on your smoker. I used the little door on mine that would normally be used for... something. I'm not sure what it's for, I've never used it. Cut a 4" hole, big enough to accept one of the start collars.
Then cut a similar hole in the lid of your tabletop grill and install a start collar in it too
Run a dryer hose between the start collars and clamp it in place.
Then cut a hole in the bottom of your tabletop grill big enough to let the electrical plug out from inside. I cut the middle out of the 3-hole vent to do this.
Put the electric burner inside the tabletop grill and run the electric wire outside. Put the cast iron box on the hot plate.
Using It For Hot Smoking
Just build a fire in the smoker like you usually would. Use the tabletop grill to generate as much smoke as you want for the job.
Here's a leg of lamb I'm barbecuing for dinner with the neighbors.
Using It For Cold Smoking
This is where it gets good.
Put your food in the hot smoker with no fire under it.
Fill up the cast iron box with sawdust, wood chips, or whatever you normally use. Turn it to high. When it starts to smoke turn it down. You can fiddle with the temperature control on the electric burner to get just the right amount of smoke.
You can smoke food this way for hours if the weather is cool enough. The dryer hose cools the smoke down and it doesn't warm up your food.